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Best apps to inspire students, adults to learn to code

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Box Island is a charming mobile coding game where kids take part in an epic adventure on the mysterious Box Island. A truly unique coding experience that engages through its beautiful 3D game world and fun story parts.

By AppoLearning.com

There are plenty of apps and websites aimed at helping kids unlock the logic of code and the basics of programming. We’ve assembled a list of the best free mobile apps that are must-downloads for educators, students and anyone wanting to learn how to code.

Box Island (iOSAndroid)

video above. This playful offering from Radiant Games is a solid introduction to sequencing, loops and conditionals. Created specifically for elementary students, Box Island: One Hour of Coding puts players in control of Hiro, an anthropomorphic blue cube who desperately needs help collecting lost clocks while adhering to each level’s maximum number of allotted moves. Using buttons (up, left, right, down) to program movement and using colors to mark a sequence endpoint, students guide Hiro toward each level’s clock atop rocks while avoiding stomp-happy red cubes and an ever-present water hazard.

The Foos Coding 5+ (iOS, Android)

Created by codeSpark specifically for the Hour of Code, The Foos Coding 5+ (or The Foos: Code for an Hour 5+ on Android devices) features lovable characters that will delight younger students before they even start playing. After selecting from the pre-made avatars and entering their name — clicking the pencil button auto-generates amusing alternatives — players are whisked away to the world of the Foos. This educational game has them drag and drop buttons to a sequencing box, then tap characters to make them move in order to collect coins and other objects.

Lightbot: Code Hour (iOS, Android)

With this app, students start with the basics and work their way through procedures and loops, culminating with a certificate of completion for the Hour of Code. Players control the bland but rather adorable robot, the goal being to light up all of the blue tiles. Commands in this game include basic actions like moving forward, turning and jumping, and eventually gets into some more complex strings of movement. Lightbot’s visualizations, which more or less place all of the action on a grid, definitely stand out from other code-oriented games.

Tynker – Coding for Kids (iOS, Android)

This app, known on Android devices as Tynker – Learn to code, provides elementary to middle school students with advanced coding skills a place to create from project templates. The Hour of Code section offers nine projects, organized by skill level, all equipped with step-by-step instructions. The Explore tab lets students check out public projects completed by members of the Tynker community. They can also make edits while playing with the project, but those changes are not permanently saved. Students can toggle between coding elements and the stage, which shows how each project’s elements act out with colorful characters. There’s also a premium version called Tynker for Schools, which is available for iOS ($5.99)and Android ($4.99).

Udacity – Learn Programming (iOS, Android)

Definitely most relevant to high school and college students, Udacity provides a whole host of free courses introducing concepts such as data analysis, computer science, machine learning, A / B testing, web development and software engineering. While it would be impossible to cover all of these during the Hour of Code, students with a handle on coding skills will learn a lot from the app’s course modules. Diving deeper into a course, students are provided with the instructor names, a course summary, FAQ and a bullet-point syllabus. One caveat to mention, though, is that students must sign in via Facebook or email to get started on any course. Doing so allows them to sync their learning progress with Udacity’s website analytics.